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Discussion Starter #1
I can help to notice that some of the cafe projects are starting with some really clean stockers. In most cases - what the heck, the custom projects look pretty cool.

For some reason - lately - I've had some misgivings about chopping up a perfectly good stocker into a cafe or what ever custom bike. Mind you, I don't have a problem with a junk yard dogs being transformed into beauty queen. However, especially with the older bikes that are harder to come by; it almost seems a shame to customize them up.

Case in point, I have two 69 cb750's that I have owned for many many years. Through the years one of my 69's I've customized it into a nice cafe. The other 69 has been laying around as parts and it now been rebuilding it as a stocker. Other than an 836 kit in the motor and some improvements to the chassis for handling purposes, the bike will be pretty much a stocker.

Now that I am getting to the end this build project, I kind of wonder the value of customizing these hard-to-get bikes.

This is not a slam against anyone - just my thoughts on this subject.
 

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a customized unit almost will never bring what a stocker will bring as far as collectors go. case in point, i could amost garuntee you that i couldnt get over $1500 out of my newly restored RD400 when i nice stock example will go for $2400 sometimes. i guess everybody just wants to start from a clean slate but why build something just to sell it? i guess i am just a pack rat, but i could never pour my heart and sould into building a bike knowing that i want just going to sell it...UNLESS...i made my living building custom motorcycles (how many people here do that?) Just build what you want and enjoy what you've got and don't worry about what something is worth. i bet 98% of the bikes owned by forum members here are worth more to them than what the bluebook value states. I do agree with you though, when i see a pristine condition old motorcycle, i like to see it that way rather than modified. my RD however, was very rough so i didnt have to face that delimma!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I agree with all that. I'll have to sell the new build off to bring in some spare cash - I wish I didn't have to but with the business being what it is this year, the choose is clear, build a nice bike for some other A-hole to enjoy and muck up. Well the build process was fun and I will be the first to ride it - that's something at least. I do have another project in the wings that will more than make up for the loss of this build....

One last though - Never love anything that can love you back.... that's hard to keep that in mind when your banging corners for the first time with your latest build....

keep the greasy side down...
 

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When I was a kid dreaming about cars non-stop, I always told my dad when I got my first car I'd lower it, paint it this and that color, custom wheels, big engine, stereo, etc. He didn't get it because he was a "stock guy". When I finally got my first car, I did all that stuff to it and it looked nothing like how it was when we bought it. It was great fun for a few years, but now a few years later I look at it and kinda wish I hadn't done all that stuff. I still enjoy a quality hot rod, whatever it may be, but I have become a stock guy myself.

I can always appreciate a nicely rodded car or bike, but I think it's a waste when someone modifies a clean stocker and does a piss poor job of it. There are some really nicely done cafes on here, Chris F's cl350 and someone else's black cb350k0 come to mind (gorgeous, with grey cables and all). There was also a nicely done red CX500 too (sorry, I can't remember anyone's names). But then there are the bikes where someone has taken a clean looking stocker with nice chrome, clean tank w/original paint, and made it a flat black Krylon special, fenders taken off, wrapped cut down stock pipes and stock tires to boot. Actual performance mods? None... well, unless the Emgo pods count. Now some dork think he looks cool in his half helmet bombing around on his spraybombed old stock hacked up japanese bike while a 9 year old ninja 500 or 250 will outperform it anywhere. The sad part is that it's worth less now than it had been untouched, and it's more likely to end up under a tree on the side of the house than in someone's garage or even living room. To each his own really, but if you're going to hot rod something spend more than a day and $10 doing it. Do it nicely or don't do it at all.

I got my '68 CL350 and it had been in storage for 27 years... still had the owners manual, original title and the bike was very stock, clean, and largely original. I bought 929rr rearsets and a 'glass solo seat for it, but decided the bike was too nice and original to mod up. So I sold the parts I had just bought (acutally, I still have the rearsets if anybody wants them). I swapped out a few things like handlebars, tires, and exhaust, but I kept the bike mostly stock because it was already cool as it was. Now I honestly had never planned on selling it, I don't think I'll be able to find another one-owner bike like it. But priorities change and I had to make room for a different bike. When it came time to sell the CL a local collector picked it up for $2,400 - over three times what I paid for it. Now I definitely had put more than a few bucks in it in the timeframe I owned it, but it was nice to know I would come out alright when I needed the money from it. Sorry, that's how it goes sometimes.

The best part for me is that it went to hang out with 20-some other vintage bikes in the guys collection. He's putting it back to 100% stock, and replacing what needs to be replaced. Cool.

Stock stuff aside, my faves are the old-school rods and cafes - bikes / cars that were modded years ago and have survived with all of the cool parts and patina intact. Vintage go-fast stuff is always alright in my book because it's period-correct.

Anyway, do whatever you want. It's your bike.
 

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quote:To each his own really, but if you're going to hot rod something spend more than a day and $10 doing it. Do it nicely or don't do it at all.
I hear you man, that's the best freakin' advice I've read on here. My pet peeve is people who build a bike without bothering to clean anything first. Is the goal to build some shitter without spending a penny or have something cool that you'd be proud to have in your living room?
 

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I'm all for keeping well-preserved bikes stock, and tasteful/well executed mods are always the best way, but lets not look too far down our noses at clapped out old shitboxes with a little personality. Sure, they often look awful, have compromised ergonomics and don't perform any better than they did when stock, but I can't blame someone for wanting to make their UJM a little different.
 

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I think my own project is a good example of a bike you don't mind cutting up a bit. It cost 50 bucks with a title. However, lots of the stock parts weren't really usable without shitloads of money in rechroming/welding, the exhaust was completely shot, and the forks and spokes were pitted to a point beyond safety. The top fork clamp was cracked, the tank was dented and rusty, and the seat had been recovered in what appeared to be a genuine 1970's naugahyde smoking jacket. I have to say, it's a shame so many of the stock parts were so beat up, because the bike is a good-looking stocker when all the bits are there and in good shape.

It's a frankenbike now - CB650 fork clamps, CB750 forks, CX500 tank, wheels from lord knows what, a motor from a CB500T, and mufflers from a Harley. I effing love it. It's just what I would build if you turned me loose in a junkyard full of crappy shot-up bikes - junkyards called Craigslist and eBay.

I have to say I did not anticipate just how much work and money this would take. No regrets, tho.
 
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